Taiwan (officially Republic of China [ROC]) meets most definitions of existential insecurity-through its entire experience as a separate political entity-in a way that few other Asian cases do (Solingen 2007: u5). Not only does it face the People's Republic of China's [PRC's]) unremitting political, economic, and military pressure, but its statehood is unrecognized by most major states and intergovernmental organizations. China's rapid military buildup since 1990 has raised the concern that the cross-Strait military balance has begun to shift in China's favor (Office of the Secretary of Defense 2006: 37; Shambaugh 2000). The military imbalance is seen as further endangering Taiwan's political survival and way of life.

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Copyright © 2008 Stanford University Press. This chapter first appeared in The Long Shadow: Nuclear Weapons and Security in 21st Century Asia.

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